Last mile specialists see silver lining in crisis

Despite a challenging macroeconomic outlook, logistics firms Mileway and Blackbrook see opportunities for further growth across the sector in Europe.

At Expo Real, Thomas ten Bokum, Mileway’s head of investment and portfolio management, and Jon Strang, managing director at Blackbrook Capital and head of its investment team, both appeared bullish on prospects in separate conversations with PropertyEU.

‘Having not made it to Expo last year, I am looking forward to meeting with a large and diverse group of peers, brokers and others working in real estate, and hearing what people anticipate for the coming months and year,’ Ten Bokum said. ‘Obviously with around 16 million m2 and 10,000 customers across Europe, at Mileway we have our own views, but it’s always really interesting and helpful to compare and contrast.

‘Events like Expo are also an important forum for speaking to customers – many of the 3PLs we work with across Europe attend and it’s a good opportunity to sit with them and talk about multiple regions and where we can help them grow. Our transactions team will also be attending and will no doubt value being able to assess investor appetite and investment opportunities.’

Mileway is the largest owner of last mile logistics real estate assets in Europe, with over 1,700 properties across 10 European countries. Earlier this year, Blackstone decided to recapitalise the company to the tune of €21 bn, underscoring the group’s faith in the urban logistics specialist that it founded in September 2019 and above all, in its asset class of choice.

Ten Bokum underlined that further growth was still on the cards. ‘As well as checking in with existing contacts, these kinds of events are always useful for building new relationships.

‘We are also keen to discuss potential acquisition and development opportunities. The latter is an area we are starting to look at more. Thanks to our first mover advantage we have the best last mile locations, and we continue to see opportunities within our existing portfolio to use development to unlock further value.’

Blackbrook is a newer kid on the block which has similarly found success with ‘mission critical’, urban assets.  Jon Strang, the firm’s managing director told PropertyEU: ‘We’re delighted to be on the ground at Expo Real this week to network with our industry peers and share our views on present opportunities within the sphere of supply-chain infrastructure.

‘Despite a challenging macroeconomic outlook, the underlying fundamentals of this asset class remain strong. Through a robust and diligent approach to underwriting, we continue to find value within the sector. Our strong pipeline of deals in the UK, France, Spain and Poland is a true example of this. The discussions in Munich will help build on our current pipeline as well as bringing like-minded people together!’


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